Fury – Opetaia Sparring: Parker Wades into Speculation

By KenWoods123 - 01/26/2024 - Comments

Joseph Parker insists that Tyson Fury “never got dropped” by the powerful knockout artist Jai Opetaia in their recent five-round sparring session, which ended with the former IBF cruiserweight champion being sent home to Australia.

Rumors are that Fury got dropped hard by Opetaia and that his camp wanted to make sure he didn’t get beaten up in further sparring sessions, so they sent Opetaia home on a 14-hour trip.

After all, the 35-year-old Fury isn’t what he once was nine years ago at the height of his career when he beat 40-year-old Wladimir Klitschko, who had lost his trainer Emanuel Steward.

One can argue that Fury is now physically too old and slow to dodge punches from a young phenom like Opetaia, so it would make sense not to have someone like that in camp.

Official Story

The reported reason that was given for Opetaia (24-0, 19 KOs) being sent home was WBC heavyweight champion Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) already had plenty of southpaw sparring help to help him prepare for the southpaw IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for their undisputed championship fight on February 17th. What Fury needed was more orthodox sparring.

It sounds like a bogus explanation for why Opetaia would be dismissed from Fury’s camp, doesn’t it?

Joseph Parker Weighs In

“I know Tyson [Fury] never got dropped [by cruiserweight Jai Opetaia], and I want to go online and say, ‘Hey, guys,’ but I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to save my energy for my fight,” said Joseph Parker to Boxing King Media, talking about the sparring that took place between Jai Opetaia and Tyson Fury.

Parker is Fury’s good friend, and it’s unclear whether he’s trying to help him with damage control.

“As long as Tyson knows what happened and Jai Opetai knows what happened, and they’ve got their separate ways and done their own training. It’s a lot of people’s comments online, but they don’t know what happened.

“What matters is what happens in the ring, but I do know this. Tyson is in great shape. Jai is training hard, and he’ll be in great shape. They’ll both put on great performances on fight night [on February 17th], and I’m looking forward to hopefully being there and supporting both of them,” said Parker.

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